Whether you are riding through a construction zone or managing Mother Nature, road hazards are a given when adventuring on two wheels. The Recovery Ride happens during San Diego’s wettest month, and the occasional Santa Ana conditions are a reminder that the wind can also be a hazard, not just from being blown about on the bicycle, but in navigating debris that finds its way to the road.
Regardless of weather conditions, being on alert for road hazards is a safety must for every ride.
Here are a few hazards to look out for and some things to remember:
- Grates, plates, covers, posts, holes, bumps, railroad tracks, standing water, painted pavement, debris, leaves, branches, twigs, thorns, glass, tacks, nails, staples, parallel grooves, road kill
- Puddles and leaves sometimes conceal potholes
- Standing water may be slick with algae
- Wet pavement is always slickest just after the rain begins
- Painted lines/road markings, metal plates/grates are super slippery when wet
- Approach railroad tracks at a 90° angle and keep up your speed as you pass over them
- Avoid getting in the groove of road cracks and gutters
“Keep your eyes on the ball” is relevant on the road, i.e., if you look directly at an object, you’re more likely to hit it. Your bike will generally go where your eyes focus, so look ahead 50-100 feet, and if you see a hazard in the road, look a little to either side of it as you approach to steer clear. Call out hazards for those following and slow when necessary. When in doubt, dismount. Ride safe. Be safe. And keep your eyes on the road (hazards).
– Suzi Reagan-Harlow